Dream Vision of the Flood


I must build this house, I must
build this house high on the hill
on borrowed cash, I must build it
now, bring with me all books
worth saving: I dreamed the end
last night, dreamed this three-countied

Island’s borders redrawn
by water, green archipelagos of stranded
holsteins on high ground, lowing at insidious
inundation, the mainland bridge
a beheaded, bobtailed leviathan arched
in Northumberland, whose waters, with the Gulf’s,

engorged oxbowed rivers, glutted
ponds into rust-red lakes, filled our hardwrought
valley, a tub with plugged drains,
slowly, while we molded contours of mud, heaping
wet red earth like the swallows under our eaves,
in vain—only the chimneys left when it settled,

perches for cormorants drying spread wings in the sun.

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